Capt. Anderson’s Marina is located in Panama City Beach, Florida

 

Shell Island, Seafari, Dolphins, & Sunsets!

10/3 Our Web Reservation System is currently down, please call to make all reservations thru the ticket office. Hours 6am – 6pm

 

 Shell Island Express Ferry 

Express Ferry main_207x160STAY FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS OR SPEND THE DAY!  Let one of our large Express Ferries take your family from the Grand Lagoon (don’t forget to check out the nesting osprey’s on the way), through St. Andrew’s Bay over to the dock at legendary Spanish Shanty Cove on Shell Island.  This 7-1/2 mile long, 1/2 mile wide stretch of sand is a barrier island sitting at the mouth of St. Andrew’s Bay.  Written records of early Spanish expeditions reported sightings of “tall” Indians living in lodges thatched with palm trees along many magnificent harbors and deep pockets customary to this area.  The Spanish explorers built several forts and outposts along the Gulf Coast…..one was in a sheltered shallow-water cove on Shell Island, still known as Spanish Shanty Cove.

While on Shell Island you can do everything you normally do at the beach with one big difference – no big buildings behind you!  This section of the island is part of St. Andrew’s State Park and as close to nature as possible with pristine white sand stretching as far as the eye can see!  Sea oats cover the dunes and turtle nest sites are protected.

  • peir at Shell Island 088Easiest & Most Convenient way to get to Shell Island
  • FREE – Large dockside parking lot at Marina
  • Private dock with SHORTEST walk to Gulf
  • Bring your COOLER and necessities (and take everything back!)
  • Swimming, Shelling, Snorkeling, Sunbathing
  • Paddle Board Rentals Available

FALL SCHEDULE beginning 9/5/14     MONDAY – SATURDAY

Departures from the Marina:     10:30, 12:30 & 2:30

Return trips begin at 11:00 am – last pick up at 4:30 pm

(Additional shuttle times available for groups of 10+, group rates available for 20+)

Shell Island EXPRESS FERRY PRICES CLICK TO BOOK A FERRY
ADULT CHILD (2-11) SENIOR MILITARY
$20.00 $10.00 $18.00 $18.00
*Children under 2 years old ride free.
Shell Island EXPRESS FERRY PRICES
ADULT $20.00
CHILD (2-11) $10.00
SENIOR $18.00
MILITARY $18.00
CLICK TO BOOK A FERRY
*Children under 2 years old ride free.

We also offer group (20+) rates!  Please call the ticket office for a quote.


 Dolphin Sightseeing Tours 

AHOY MATEY! Come cruise with us on the Capt. Anderson III for family adventures and Dolphin Tours in Panama City Beach you are sure to love!  The Capt. Anderson III has an enclosed and climate controlled lower deck with viewing windows all the way around, complete with a snack bar, restrooms and an open air viewing deck on the bow.  The open upper deck seating area is covered, providing shelter from the elements, while also allowing the perfect place to feel the sea breeze.  There are specially constructed side panels making it safe for the whole family to be right at the edge and not miss a thing.

Shell Island & Seafari Eco-Tour w/Dolphin Encounter

SHOULDER SEASON SPECIAL – THREE TRIPS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

 FALL SCHEDULE     1:00 – 4:30 PM

Get ready for a truly educational, unique and above all THE MOST FUN experience there is in Panama City Beach!  This 3-1/2 HR narrated adventure is a combination of our traditional afternoon Shell Island cruise, with the addition of the net pull in St. Andrews Bay from our unique morning Seafari Eco-Tour, and cap it all off  as we do on EVERY cruise on the Capt. Anderson III with our traditional Dolphin Encounter! 

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We begin the journey in the Historic Grand Lagoon, where you can feed the sea gulls who flock to greet visitors, as we point out sights such as the nesting ospreys; or perhaps you’ll see a dolphin trying to get a free lunch from the floating bait shack!  From the Grand Lagoon we pass beautiful St. Andrews Park and cross through what locals call “The Pass” between the jetties of the park and Shell Island, entering into the St. Andrews Bay.

The St. Andrews Bay is the most diverse estuary in North America, with over 3,600 species of marine life! 

480766_629857117030280_1461094181_nWhen we reach the point where it is time for the Seafari Eco-Tour, imagine the excitement as you watch the trawl net pulled aboard with a variety of aquatic wonders and sea shells; it’s like opening a Christmas present from St. Andrews Bay – you never know what we will find!  Learn about the wonders of the natural ecosystem as you pass around sea life in a clear specimen bucket, or if possible you can touch or even hold it!  Our visitors are encouraged to take home any of the unoccupied shells that are brought up.   


322624_382404951828843_888575914_oThen the 
Capt. Anderson III will take you to Shell Island, to the private dock located in Spanish Shanty Cove, a portion of the Island that is part of St. Andrew’s State Park, and the boat will remain there while you explore the island. This dock has a short boardwalk to take you right to the beautiful white sandy beach stretching as far as the eye can see!  Shell Island is a 7-1/2 mile long and a very narrow barrier island separating the Gulf of Mexico from St. Andrews Bay. You will have an hour at your leisure to swim, go shelling, explore, picnic, or just relax and enjoy the beautiful and pristine uninhabited island. There is nothing there but nature “As God Made It”, so please heed the signs posted for turtle nesting, etc., bring back everything you take, and above all, breathe in the serenity of not having walls of condos and civilization all around you!Shell Island

After boarding the boat again, we’ll all go watch the wild Bottlenose Dolphins frolicking in their natural habitat during the Dolphin Encounter. Don’t forget to bring your camera as St. Andrew’s Bay is home to a large population of these Dolphins, we love seeing all the new babies surfacing alongside their mothers.  An encounter with these beautiful, intelligent creatures is very common in the bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and all passengers will be lively engaged in the “Dolphin Watch” and subsequent viewing on this trip.

  • FAVORITES - Two for the road!Seahorse 179050_10151322075291428_1020623614_nThe most UNIQUE experience in Panama City Beach
  • Hands-on with diverse sea life
  • See beautiful Shell Island and Bottlenose Dolphins
  • Wading and shell collecting
  • Private dock with a shorter walk to Gulf
  • Restrooms and Snack Bar on board – we stay at the dock
  • Largest and most comfortable island boat-seats for all
  • Relax if you want, Be Adventurous if you want!
  • Historical narration by the captain

FALL SCHEDULE 1:00 – 4:30 DAILY

SEAFARI-SHELL ISLAND-DOLPHIN TOUR PRICES CLICK TO BOOK A TOUR
ADULT CHILD (2-11) SENIOR MILITARY
$23.00 $12.00 $20.00 $20.00
*Prices include Florida sales tax and State Park fees. Children under 2 years old ride free.
SEAFARI-SHELL ISLAND-DOLPHIN TOUR PRICES
ADULT $23.00
CHILD (2-11) $12.00
SENIOR $21.00
MILITARY $21.00
CLICK TO BOOK A TOUR
*Prices include Florida sales tax and State Park fees. Children under 2 years old ride free.

We also offer group (20+) rates!  Please call the ticket office for a quote.

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Sunset Dolphin Encounter

Make friends while cruising along the gulf…

FAVORITES Jumping Dolphin on the Sunset Dolphin TourOur sunset cruise departs every evening to travel through the Historic Grand Lagoon into St. Andrews Bay, then up through the channel known as “The Pass” out to the edge of the Gulf and watch the dolphins play. St. Andrew’s Bay is home to a large population of Bottlenose Dolphins.  An encounter with these beautiful, intelligent creatures is very common in the bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and all passengers will be lively engaged in the “Dolphin Watch” and subsequent viewing on this trip.Being out on the water and watching these graceful wild animals in their natural habitat is one of the most enjoyable trips you will experience here in beautiful Panama City Beach!

As Capt. Ford used to say, “Come on out and get a little salt in your sniffer”!

  • Be sure to bring your camera!
  • Restrooms and Snack Bar on board
  • Historical narration by the captain
  • Largest and most comfortable island boat-seats for all

FALL SCHEDULE:  SEPT  5:30 – 7:00OCT 5:00 – 6:30

EVENING DOLPHIN ENCOUNTER TOUR PRICES CLICK TO BOOK A TOUR
ADULT CHILD (2-11) SENIOR MILITARY
$15.00 $8.00 $13.00 $13.00
*Prices include Florida sales tax. Children under 2 years old ride free.
EVENING DOLPHIN ENCOUNTER TOUR PRICES
ADULT $15.00
CHILD (2-11) $8.00
SENIOR $13.00
MILITARY $13.00
CLICK TO BOOK A TOUR
*Prices include Florida sales tax. Children under 2 years old ride free.

We also offer group (20+) rates!  Please call the ticket office for a quote.

  • Capt. Anderson’s Marina

    5550 N. Lagoon Dr. Panama City Beach, Florida, 32408

    800-874-2415 ~ 850-234-3435

The ticket office is open EVERY DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK during the summer;

and MON – FRI during off season.   

 Click for Directions

 

Shell Island Tours and Dolphin Tours

Do I need to make a reservation? Do I pay now or when I arrive?

Yes. We ask that you make reservations in advance to ensure correct number of deckhands on board for the number of our visitors. You CAN pay in advance if you wish; however, it is not required.

Can I bring food?

Yes, but you don’t need to.  There is a cash galley on the boat that you can buy snacks and drinks.

Is lunch served on board?  Do we need to bring cash for food/drinks?

The Capt. Anderson III has a snack bar on board serving all the major junk food groups (:-) including Hot Dogs, Chips, Sodas, Ice Cream, Slushies, Candy Bars, Etc. all at "Family Friendly Pricing" (ex; $2 for Hot Dog) There's no WiFi on board to run a credit card, so you will need to bring cash.

Do we need to bring anything for the Seafari?

It is not necessary to bring anything except your personal items and a camera!  If you WANT to bring your own snacks, drinks, etc, it is OK to bring in a bag or backpack.  (No coolers or alcohol allowed on board)

Does the boat stop at Shell Island for a while?

During the morning Seafari trip, you will stay on the boat the entire time and will travel through St. Andrew's Bay behind Shell Island (when we drag the trawl net), then go up through "The Pass" to the front of Shell Island and in front of St. Andrews State Park (during the Dolphin Encounter).  The same boat does a 3 HR tour from 2:00 - 5:00 which includes a 1 HR stop at the island.

Is this the same boat as the Glass Bottom Boat?

YES!  We have transformed the glass bottom portion on the main deck into a built-in 1,000 gallon Sea Life Viewing Well.  You will be able to see a variety of local sea creatures up close.

Do you really see dolphins?  What if we don’t see them?

St. Andrew’s Bay is home to a large population of Bottlenose Dolphins.  We see them just about every day, but as they are wild animals that live in the Bay we cannot promise you will see them.  However, since our captains go out several times a day, they know where the dolphins like to play and will make every attempt to encounter them so you can see these beautiful, intelligent creatures in their natural environment.

Can I feed/swim with the dolphins?

No, it is illegal to swim with wild dolphins in the state of Florida. There are other companies promoting that they do swim with dolphins which is why there is a legal presence out on the water now to prevent this. The dolphins in St. Andrew’s Bay are wild; therefore, we advocate good stewardship by practicing safe viewing which will not disrupt the animals behavior, but allow them to be seen in their natural environment.

Gulf World is the only place in Panama City you can legally touch the TAME/trained dolphins.

Can I really touch the Sea Creatures?  How do we pass them around?

We have special see thru buckets that each creature will be carefully placed into and passed around so everybody will get a chance to look at up close.  We will allow guests to touch any animal that is not dangerous; such as sea urchins, jellyfish (yes-the NON poisonous variety), flatfish such as flounder, puffer fish, cow fish, horseshoe crabs, etc.

What if I get my hands messy?

The crew is prepared with disinfectant and a bucket to rinse hands in.  There are also bathrooms on board the boat for washing with soap and water.

What is the size of boat?

This is a very large double deck boat, licensed to hold up to 250 passengers.  The lower deck is enclosed and air conditioned with a cash galley and restrooms.  The upper deck is open air and covered.

What if it is raining?

Our trips go rain or shine but not when lightening is present.  Actually, the dolphins usually tend to gather in the Bay (where they live) when it is unfavorable weather conditions in the Gulf.

Can I bring drinks/cooler?

Because of fishing regulations, our public charter boats prohibit coolers of any kind brought on board.  Unfortunately, this applies to CAIII also.  The 3 things not allowed are:  alcohol, GPS or a cooler (unless medical need).  Visitors are encouraged to bring a beach bag w/snacks, towels, snorkel gear, etc.

Are there bathrooms on the Captain Anderson III?

YES! There are 2 bathrooms on the boat.  During the Shell Island cruise, the boat stays docked at the Island in order for our visitors to have access to these restrooms

What should I bring with me?

Bring a towel, sun block, sunglasses, camera and whatever else you feel essential.

Are there any Snorkel opportunities?

As of right now we do not provide any of the snorkel gear, but you may bring your own snorkel gear or purchase some from Dockside Gift Shop here at the Marina.

What if I get sick on the boat?

This trip is a very smooth ride and we very rarely have anyone get sick.  If you are nervous about sea sickness, we advise you to take a “non-drowsy” form of Dramamine before your trip.

Do you sell seasick pills on your boat?

We sell the seasick pills in our gift shop which is conveniently located next door to our ticket office.

Where is Shell Island and can I get there by car?

This 7-1/2 mile (east to west) long, 1/2 mile wide stretch of sand, is a barrier island sitting at the mouth of St. Andrew's Bay and only accessible by boat.  It is as close to nature as possible with pristine white sand stretching as far as the eye can see!  Sea oats cover the dunes and turtle nest sites are protected.  The point where we dock up is approximately 3 miles towards the center and still within the boundaries of the State Park.  Don’t worry; we pay the park fee for you to be there!  This portion of the island known as “Spanish Shanty” is uninhabited and pristine clean.  We like to say “It’s like God made it, Nature would like to keep it, and we’re going to help!”

What else is there to do at Shell Island?

While on Shell Island you can do everything you normally do at the beach with one big difference - no big buildings behind you!  It is very much like having a private and very beautiful island that is not a public beach!  There are many things to do such as; swimming, shelling, snorkeling, sun bathing and even taking a nice hike through the paths on the dunes!  Enjoy the exploration, but please remember to respect the area and “leave no trace” behind.  We have bathrooms and trash cans on the CAIII for this purpose.

What is Spanish Shanty?

Written records of early Spanish expeditions reported sightings of "tall" Indians living in lodges thatched with palm trees along many magnificent harbors and deep pockets customary to this area.  The Spanish explorers built several forts and outposts along the Gulf Coast.....one was in a sheltered shallow-water cove on Shell Island, still known as Spanish Shanty Cove.

Are there shells on Shell Island?  Can I take them home?

The quantity & size of shells you find depends on the time of year and the tide.  We recommend wading about knee deep into the water and you can usually find some there. You may take home any shell as long as nothing is living in it. Visitors that are on our Seafari will be able to take home pin shells, whelks, and other empty shells from the bay that were found in the trawl net.

Are there bathrooms on Shell Island?

No; the island is basically just an uninhabited beach. The CAIII stays on the island while you are there if you need to get back on to use the restrooms or if you’d like to purchase anything from the snack bar, or just get back into the air conditioning.

Do you offer group rates?

YES! We offer group (20+) rates, school rates, military rates & senior discounts (over 55 yrs)! Please call the ticket office for a quote.

Can we come back multiple times?

YES!  Please come back as many times as you’d like!  We love our returning customers!  During certain times you can even use your ticket stub from one trip to get a discount on another so don’t forget to ask!

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